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Durham protest demands ‘Liberty and justice for Carlos Riley Jr.’

By Kosta Harlan |
June 30, 2013
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About forty people came out to protest and distribute information to passers-by
About forty people came out to protest and distribute information to passers-by about the campaign to free Carlos Riley Jr. (Fight Back! News/Staff)
 Protesters gather outside Durham police headquarters to demand 'Drop the charge
Protesters gather outside Durham police headquarters to demand 'Drop the charges against Carlos Riley Jr!'

Durham, NC – Chants of "No justice, no peace! No racist police!" and "Free Carlos Riley Jr.!" rang out on June 28, as about 40 people gathered outside the Durham police headquarters to demand the charges be dropped against Carlos Riley Jr.

On Dec. 18, Carlos Riley Jr., a 21-year-old African American man, was pulled over by Officer Kelly Stewart, who was in an unmarked car. According to the [Liberty and Justice for Carlos Riley Jr. campaign](http://carlosrileyjr.weebly.com/), the officer accused Riley of smoking marijuana, got into the car and began to choke him. Riley struggled to breathe and attempted to free himself. Officer Stewart then shot himself in the leg. Riley pulled the gun away from the officer and left the scene fearing that he would be shot by other police officers when they arrived. He turned himself in several hours later.

A complete account of the events as well as an update with the taped statement of the officer in question is available on the [Liberty and Justice for Carlos Riley Jr. petition page](https://www.change.org/petitions/free-carlos-riley-jr).

Carlos Riley's aunt, Cheryl Riley, told Fight Back!, "We're here to show support that we are standing behind Carlos Riley Jr., and to bring awareness to the city of Durham and citizens about what has happened. We need to stand up for our rights, we need to let city of Durham know we aren't going to stand for the incarcerations and targeting people for their skin color or what type of clothing they have on. It's wrong." Cheryl Riley added, "Just because you have a badge and carry a gun, that does not make you above the law, you cannot take the law into your own hands. This needs to stop."